Church bells come in handy

I have always loved the campane (bells) that ring every hour all around town. Sometimes I admit that I don't hear them, but other times they stop me in mid-sentence. I love that no matter where I am in centro (downtown area), I hear a different set of campane ringing from different chiese (churches) and torre (towers).

Last week when I was walking down Borgo degli Albizi and heading home, a young man stopped me and asked, "Non sai mica che ore sono? You don't happen to know what time it is, do you?" He looked at my bare wrist and almost walked off without listening to my answer. "Aspetta Wait," I said and pulled out my cellulare (cellular phone). I began to say, "Sono le... It's..." when the campane began to ring. I looked at him and smiled. He looked rather puzzled, so I pointed my finger upward and said, "Le undici. Eleven."

That was the first time that the ringing campane came in handy. Today, however, I realized how useful the campane truly are.

I was rushing through Piazza della Signoria so I could get home before noon. I made an appointment with the parquettista (man who works on wood floors) at our apartment, and I was hoping to arrive a little earlier to make sure the house was in order.

My cellulare began to ring right before I turned off of via dei Neri and onto our street. The parquettista asked me where I was because he was standing outside of our building. "Ci sono quasi I'm almost there," I said as I waved to him.

I opened the door to our building when the campane began to ring. I thought that I was late and had already excused myself a few times. "Non sono nemmeno in ritardo I'm not even late," I said.

When we arrived in the apartment, I turned to him and said, "Quando ho visto la tua chiamata, pensavo di essere in ritardo When I saw your call, I thought I was late," I said. "No, no...sono arrivato in anticipo io No, I arrived early," he said. He didn't tell me that he was early until the campane rang.

I didn't think I was late because I checked my cellulare a few times while I was en route. Luckily, the campane rang and I knew that I wasn't late as the parquettista would have had me believe.

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